A season that celebrates the falling feeling

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The Independent Online
Autumn! Season of mixed and yellow fruit gums, when the leaves fall from the trees like empty toffee papers, and the sun hangs all day in the sky like a great boiled sweet!

When large clouds suddenly jack-knife over the motorway and shed their load of fresh rainwater on north- and south-bound carriageways alike!

When the new playing strip for autumn is finally unveiled in every hedgerow, and yes, the colours of this year's autumn playing strip are chocolate brown, lemon yellow and tangerine orange, just as they were last year and the year before, so how is your season going, Trevor? Well, things are looking good for us, Brian, we got a good result against Woodland Wanderers last Saturday, and of course these are early days yet, Brian, but I think by the end of the season we'll be there or thereabouts, because this is only ...

Autumn! Season of rifts and mellow divisiveness, when marriages gently drift apart and the cry of regret is heard in the woods, and Lady Di's wicked stepmother does it again ...

Raine, Raine, go away,

Get remarried another day!

When Fergie goes on television in a very expensive suit of sackcloth and ashes to say she is very sorry, Ruby, and she doesn't want to be Princess of England any more, Ruby, just Knave of Hearts, but it wasn't really her fault, Ruby, and the royal debts pile up behind her like leaves in the ditch, and the TV schedules are choked with repeats, and look, isn't that the last Absolutely Fabulous winging its way abroad? Yes, because it's emigrating to America now, where the Americans are going to remake it for an American audience, which means that there will be no smoking and no drinking and no swearing and no adultery and no laughs, but here in Britain there is still plenty of smoking because it's ...

Autumn! Season of blazing bonfires, where the old boughs are barbecued and the tough sycamore leaves are smoked over an oak fire until they come out utterly delicious, my dear, we have a little man who comes in once a week and does the smoking for us, look, we've got smoked ground elder and smoked rose leaves and smoked almond branches and candied rose hips glistening sugary in the morning frost, because it's ...

Autumn! Season of short-term weather forecasts and long-term losses, when there might be ground frost in some areas and the mist might linger for a long time in others, or in the words of the old country rhyme ...

Michael Fish, Michael Fish,

Right or wrong, he's a bit of

a dish!

And here's another amazing fact - did you know that on 5 November every year more damage is done to British back gardens than Guy Fawkes and his merry men ever did to the Houses of Parliament on the original Bonfire Night? Yes, police are at this very moment looking for 10,000 dads to help them with their inquiries ...

- Excuse me sir, did you or did you not on November 5th hand a Roman candle to your child with the words "Here, son, you can light this one", thus causing extensive damage with a street value of millions of pounds?

- Yes, I did, officer, but look at it this way: I was only trying to topple the Government and get the Catholics a decent deal!

- Fair enough, sir. Try to make sure it doesn't happen again, because you have to be careful when it's ...

Autumn! A Grand Clearance Sale of recent history! And it's time for every tree in the land to turn out its unwanted pages, shed its leaves, strew its memos underfoot for our feet to shred, time for nature to get rid of old election promises and make some new ones ...

"More Than 50 per cent Of Trees Do Not Know Why Their Leaves Fall Off," says shock report by government inspectors, which goes on to reveal that standards in our woodlands have slipped by more than half since the government introduced its new seasonal curriculum, but don't worry, because you can now get through adult life with less than perfect understanding, or, in the words of the old country rhyme ...

Ian McCaskill talks through

his fez.

I can't understand a word

he says ...

Soon in a hedgerow somewhere near you !

Autumn!

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